[Editor's note: This story was updated in April 2019.]
There's no doubt Texas is a beef loving, Tex-Mex crazed, barbecue smokin' state. The Dallas area keeps meat lovers satisfied, certainly, but it's budding with great food for vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians, too.
And hang on, carnivores: Before you can say "where's my brisket?" you should know these D-FW vegetarian and vegan places are for you, too. No, it will not be brisket, but you won't be missing the meat.
Now this one will really fool you: Cinnaholic bakes all-vegan gourmet cinnamon rolls that come in decadent flavors such as German Chocolate Cake and S'mores Blast. Customers also have the option to customize their cinnamon rolls with a variety of frosting flavors, like banana cream and peanut butter, and toppings, including brownie bites and pie crumble. Even though the shop doesn't advertise as a vegan bakery, only animal-friendly and dairy-free animal ingredients are used in its products -- which is quite a feat, given the eggs, butter, milk and cream most bakeries use. Cinnamon rolls are the shop's specialties, but Cinnaholic also serves vegan cookies and brownies as well as coffee. Feeding a group? Go for the cinnamon roll cakes, basically an entire pan of cinnamon rolls decorated to your liking. They're a thing.
Cinnaholic, 100 S. Central Expressway, Richardson or 2704 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake. cinnaholic.com.
Head over to this hippie all-vegetarian restaurant on Oak Lawn Avenue in Dallas for dishes with Indian, Mexican and Middle Eastern flavors. If you want to go the Indian food route, the Buddha's Delight packs Indian ingredients into a dish of curried vegetables, dahl, samosas, pappadam, rice and nan. Cosmic Cafe's spinach enchiladas or veggie quesadillas turn classic -- and meaty -- Mexican dishes vegetarian. Stick around Cosmic Cafe after lunch or dinner to try out its yoga, meditation, dance or poetry classes offered seven days a week. (They're free, with a recommended $5 donation.) Laughing Yoga on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. sounds like a great time, doesn't it?
Cosmic Cafe, 2912 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas. 214-521-6157. cosmiccafedallas.com.
Grab a bowl of pho or udon noodle soup at this quaint Vietnamese eatery in the Hong Kong Market Place in Dallas. As stated by the name of the shop, all options are vegan, but the "meat" in some dishes looks seriously real. If you want to opt out of the soy-based fake meat, D'Vegan also sells tofu and just vegetables with its dishes. We recommend the spring rolls to start, then the tofu pho for an entree. D'Vegan also offers vegan cheesecake for dessert.
D'Vegan, 9780 Walnut St., Dallas. 972-437-3939.
Run, not walk, to this next place. I'm talking about vegan Tex-Mex. Serving all-vegan tacos, tamales, flautas and other Mexican favorites, El Palote Panaderia is breaking barriers in a cuisine typically dominated by meat. El Palote uses soy products to make meat-like fillings for its dishes, and the texture of these substitutes is so meatlike that customers often question if their meal is truly vegan. Tofu is also used as a protein in some dishes, including the ancho chile pepper enchiladas. The restaurant also specializes in vegan pastries, including empanadas and pan dulce, a sweet yeast roll topped with tofu cream cheese and jam.
El Palote Panaderia, 2537 S. Buckner Blvd., Dallas. 972-807-2673. elpalotepanaderia.eat24hour.com.
On a budget? Goji Cafe prides itself in its fresh, healthy ingredients and meals at reasonable prices. The restaurant brings vegan versions of favorite Asian dishes such as kung pao chicken and pho to Dallas. For $7.99 during lunch hours, you can also enjoy the buffet bar, which includes sushi, spring rolls, noodles, stir-fry options and more. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a slice of the restaurant's simple vegan cheesecake.
Goji Cafe, 2330 Royal Lane, Dallas. 972-243-1888. goji-cafe.com.
Get a taste of India at Kalachandji's, a vegetarian buffet featuring authentic Indian cuisine. You know what buffet means, right? It's a stretchy-pants, #thiswillmakeyoufat food outing. And Mom will be satisfied, as you will definitely get your daily share of veggies. The lunch and dinner selections change daily, but expect options such as basmati rice, tamarind chutney and ginger cookies. Almost all dishes at the buffet are vegan, with a few exceptions including vanilla sweet rice and nut loaf. If you like what you taste at Kalachandji's, the restaurant also offers vegetarian cooking classes, which will start back up in mid-September 2017.
Kalachandji's, 5430 Gurley Ave., Dallas. 214-821-1048. kalachandjis.com.
Think again if you thought desserts require eggs, milk, butter or cream. Just ask Richardson's Reverie Bakeshop, a plant-based, vegan bakery that sells all the goods you typically see at a bakery. Monday morning and in need of a sugar rush? Reverie bakes doughnuts, quiches, scones, cinnamon rolls, muffins, kolaches and even cruffins, a cross between a croissant and a muffin. Other baked treats include pies, cookies, brownies, tarts, cakes, cannolis and other pastries. The bakery also takes custom cake orders and offers multiple gluten-free cake flavors such as tiramisu and carrot. It doesn't stop there. Raw vegan desserts such as lemon bars, German chocolate cake and triple berry cheesecake are also sold at Reverie.
Reverie Bakeshop, 1930 N. Coit Road, Richardson. 972-238-7511. reveriebakeshop.com.
Enjoy comfort food dishes such as lentil soup, fish po boys, crispy chicken sandwiches and loaded nachos at Sankofa Kitchen. "Chicken" and "fish" may be in some of the dish titles, but, plot twist!, they are all vegan. While Sankofa's main menu includes meat, the restaurant accommodates veggie lovers with a vegan specialty menu as well as an all-vegan buffet every Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Doubling as a smoothie bar, Sankofa also shakes up fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies. Vegans rejoice: The drinks are dairy-free.
Sankofa Kitchen, 3333 W. Camp Wisdom Road, Dallas. 972-296-0940.
If you believe vegans only eat salads, Spiral Diner will prove you very wrong. The fully-vegan restaurant does serve up veggie-loaded salads, but the menu also features comfort-food classics such as its soy-based meatball sub and Nacho Supremo, which are loaded nachos with cashew cheese and toppings such as quinoa, black beans, guacamole and sour cream. Another misconception is that vegan food is always healthy. Well, take Spiral's Deathstar Sundae as an example: It's a warm chocolate pecan brownie, three scoops of I-Scream (get it? there's no cream!), whipped cream, a shot of espresso and a cherry on top.
Spiral Diner, 1101 N Beckley Ave., Dallas or 1314 W Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth. spiraldiner.com.
There's plenty of vegetarian and vegan-friendly options at Sundown at Granada on Greenville Avenue. For appetizers, vegetarian options include the Southwest and Italian loaded avocados as well as the Mediterranean Plate, a platter of spicy tomato tapenade, olives, hummus, feta, pita and cucumber salad. Order for yourself or share around the table the Hammered Goat flatbread with drunken mushrooms, truffle oil, mozzarella and goat cheese. Vegans have a few choices such as the yellow tomato gazpacho or organic garden bowl with beet "filet" (roasted with herbs and balsamic oil then cut into thick slices), barley tabouleh, sunflower sprouts, seasoned spelt and spaghetti squash. Oh yes, and there's vegan double chocolate cake with layered vegan chocolate mousse for dessert. Sundown at Granada also advises that many marked vegetarian dishes can be requested to be made vegan with some modifications -- handy.
Sundown at Granada, 3520 Greenville Ave., Dallas. 214-823-8305. sundownatgranada.com.
There's a sushi struggle for vegans and vegetarians: While the rest of your dining party enjoys all the critters of the ocean, fish-free folks usually have the options of a cucumber roll, avocado roll or vegetable roll. Sushi Zushi has a special vegetarian and vegan menu, which includes appetizers, sushi rolls and entrees. The tropical roll, which is asparagus, avocado, cucumber, carrots, sprouts and cream cheese wrapped with mango and topped with Sriracha, makes for a fresh and light vegetarian option. Vegan noodle entree options also include the tofu yakisoba and yakiudon, two types of traditional Japanese noodles. Meateater or not, don't settle for the cucumber roll. You're better than that.
Sushi Zushi, 3636 McKinney Ave., Dallas or 1420 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake. sushizushi.com
V-Eats Modern Vegan at Trinity Groves is surrounded by a meaty restaurant park: There's Babb Brothers BBQ and Blues, Amberjax Fish Market Grille and even a restaurant called Fat Chicken. Although V-Eats does not use any animal products, its menu shares similar dishes to its next-door neighbors. The restaurant serves barbecue favorites such as brisket sliders and chili cheese dogs as well as Southern staples like chicken friend steak and buffalo mac n' cheese (think Velveeta, except with a potato and carrot-based cheese sauce topped with buffalo cauliflower). Enjoy lunch every Friday and Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. Brunch is also available on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and you'll find all of your go-to brunch orders, including sausage gravy over biscuits and the excellently-named migas with scrambled veggs.
V-Eats Modern Vegan, 3011 Gulden Lane, Dallas. 214-377-6009. v-eats.com.